Academic 2013-2014 will be a decisive year for Profweb! A major overhaul of the site, both in form and in content, has been in the works for months. This activity has been oriented through an effort to understand the information technology needs of college teachers.
As a result of focus groups, interviews and surveys, a series of recommendations and guidelines have been established to align the new Profweb web site to the needs, interests and expectations expressed by its current and potential users.
Although it is clear that the site is a valued tool, it is also evident that a new look and a reorganization of content is required.
Major features of this overhaul will include the following :
- Information presented in a streamlined modern interface.
- An efficient and effective search engine.
- A choice of methods to reach teachers such as by discipline or level of technological ability.
- Stories retained at the heart of Profweb’s new edition.
- Links between Profweb’s content and IT Partner sites that inspire teachers as well as enable an easier adaptation to the activities presented.
- Actively proposed interactions through links between content items within the site.
- Clearly defined mission statements for Profweb and its partners.
A Needs-based Redesign
Enabling Information Access
Generally, people consulted identified various difficulties finding desired information in the current site.
Although the complete site redesign is still in process, a new way to display search results is already functioning. As of now, when you perform a search in Profweb, you are shown different types of resources related to your search as well as the number of those entries found for each category. Quite an improvement!
It goes without saying that the search engine in the next Profweb site will be effective and be inspired by other popular websites that web surfers rely on. The comparison with Google is inevitable, and it sets high standards ensuring that our search engine becomes a major issue when it comes time to meet the needs of users.
Meeting the Needs and Expectations of Teachers
During consultations, several teachers mentioned that our stories inspired them, but they wanted to be better equipped to attempt the transfer of what they had read about to their own classes.
As well, teachers have indicated that they want us to talk to them taking their discipline and the interests they have into account. Profweb will work to provide discipline-specific and theme-specific navigation that presents the content in logically related units.
Maintaining and Evolving Content
Our stories have been the heart of Profweb for a long time and are a source of inspiration and motivation for many teachers. The stories are built from experiences within the network and correspond to teachers’ daily reality.
Although this showcasing of teachers’ educational innovations will always be at the heart of Profweb, several teachers’ comments have indicated that we must reconsider the form of stories, adding more multimedia elements to render the message of the basic text more dynamic. As well, allowing teachers to establish the relevance of the content for them at a glance is an important issue.
The idea of modifying Profweb’s focus to bring in new content was also mentioned during the consultations. Teachers told us they wanted different types of content such as tutorials or current trends that Profweb could highlight through links to tools and services provided by partner organizations. The many elements produced by ICT partners are highly relevant to teachers in the college network, as they are tailored to their reality.
Promoting Dynamic Interactions
learly, those teachers who favour online interaction should not feel that their desires are being ignored. Profweb’s new site could allow them to help each other as well as to produce targeted problem-solving content.
Profweb seeks to become an indispensable hub in the college network to support and inspire teachers of all disciplines. The site will be a forum where teachers will find everything they need to carry out academically innovative projects, particularly in information and communication technology, to a successful conclusion.
Tell us what you think of Profweb’s upcoming changes in the comments section!